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  • Clair Lamb

November 2020 newsletter

Dear Folks,

“It’s me again, your worthless friend — or foe.” Sorry, was indulging my love of eighties music this week, and that lyric just sprang to mind. A metaphorical pat on the back if you can identify it without looking it up. This is what lockdown does to us, or to me, at least: it sends me back to the past, to the music and books that give me comfort, because music and books remain a source of consolation in these troubled times. So it’s regular doses of P.G. Wodehouse, the songs of The Blue Nile and others, and a poem a day by E.E. Cummings, as I try to work my way gradually through two volumes of his collected work. (Have I ever mentioned that somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond is my favorite poem? Well, it is.)

I’d like to think that my own books might be welcome source of distraction for some of you. With that in mind, if you live in North America THE DIRTY SOUTH has just hit a bookshelf near you, and some other bits and pieces are either already out there or on the way. More below, but I won’t keep you too long. After all, I wouldn’t want to tear you away from a page or a song . . .

THE DIRTY SOUTH on sale now in the US and Canada!

THE DIRTY SOUTH is now available from American and Canadian booksellers in all formats, and I thank you all for your patience. These US booksellers have tote bags and signed postcards:

Centuries and Sleuths, Forest Hills, IL

Fireside Book Shop, Chagrin Falls, OH

Longfellow Books, Portland, ME

Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach, FL

Murder by the Book, Houston, TX

The Mysterious Bookshop, New York, NY

Nonesuch Books, S. Portland, ME

Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis, MN

One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, AZ

VJ Books, Tualamin, OR

If you don’t see your favorite independent bookstore on this list, let them know that they can request tote bags and postcards with an email to (Sorry, we can’t fill individual requests from readers — we’re distributing these through bookstores only!)

People have asked about the audiobook of THE DIRTY SOUTH, so I’m pleased to say that it’s on sale today, too, with Jeff Harding as narrator. It’s available on all platforms: Apple, Audible, Google Play, and, which supports independent bookstores. You can listen to an excerpt here.

One good thing about virtual events is that they’re available worldwide, and tend to remain available after the fact. Last week I talked to Barbara Peters of The Poisoned Pen, and you can watch that video here. Sunday’s conversation with Stuart Neville, for Murder by the Book, is online here. Three virtual US events remain:

Today, November 3, I’m participating in Atria’s “Night of 1,000 Authors,” with a short appearance around 3:56 p.m. New York time. If you want to try to catch me, you can do that here.

Tomorrow, November 4, I’ll be talking about THE DIRTY SOUTH to Dr. John Waters of NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House at 1:00 p.m. New York time. It’s free, but registration is required, and you can sign up here.

On Saturday, November 21, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, you can see me with the legendary James Lee Burke at an event hosted by the Savannah Book Festival. Tickets are $15, and advance registration is required; you can register here.

SAMUEL JOHNSON VS. THE DARKNESS on sale now in Ireland and the UK!

The Samuel Johnson trade paperback omnibus, which comprises THE GATES, THE INFERNALS, and THE CREEPS, and includes a new short story, “The Monks of Appalling Dreadfulness,” is now available from booksellers throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. Signed copies are available from The Gutter Bookshop and Alan Hanna’s Books, and both stores ship worldwide, but please be patient; we’re back on lockdown in Dublin, shops are not open to the public, and everything’s taking a little longer than we’d like it to.

Because readers asked, “The Monks . . .” is available as a standalone electronic download within Ireland and the UK, wherever you buy your e-books. US readers, though, will have to wait until Thanksgiving, as it didn’t seem like a good idea to publish THE DIRTY SOUTH and this longish short story on the same day. Delayed gratification and all that.

Short and sweet, for your pre-holiday shopping plans. Please remember that independent bookstores need your business this year, more than ever before. Shipping delays at every point (factory to warehouse, warehouse to bookstore, bookstore to you) mean you should order as early as possible to avoid disappointment, but they’re very grateful for the business, and I am very grateful for your support.

I suspect you may hear from me once more before the end of the year, when I should have some news about release dates for THE NAMELESS ONES. But for now, be well, and take care of yourselves and each other —


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